I know this is a rather frivolous blog topic, but it is a big part of my life. I was standing in the shower the other morning, working on controlling my crazy frizzy perm with some fairly pricey, very perfumed conditioner. I instantly got a headache. Perfume does this to me - a tight band feeling that squeezes the back of my head like a vice grip.
I remember when it all started. I had caught whiffs of Estes Lauder perfume and thought it was nice. My freshman year boyfriend got me some as a gift. I doused it all over one of my sweaters. I began to get headaches whenever I wore that sweater. Then I realized I was getting headaches when I came in contact with English Leather, which I had loved at one time, so my poor hubby (when that time came) couldn't even wear what he liked.
During college, I was singing in choir at a local church and was placed behind a lady who wore a very popular, very intense, very heavy perfume that just killed me - I ended up quitting choir because I couldn't bring myself to tell this lady I didn't know that her scent was making me ill. I worked with a lady whose deodorant, believe it or not, made that band appear first thing in the morning. Have you any idea how hard it would be to tell someone that their deodorant is making my life miserable??
When DC discovered my sister wore Windsong, he informed me that was his favorite perfume and couldn't I wear it, please? I asked him to keep his nose away from my sister's vicinity, and I was sorry, but since I couldn't smell good, he'd have to content with my not smelling bad! There was a time when I was able to smell good, when Avon sold Hawaii White Ginger After Bath Splash. It was light and airy, and just enough. For some reason it worked for me. But as in all such things, they discontinued it and I was back to just "not smelling bad."
I can't stick my head inside Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I received a gift from Bath and Body Works, which I had to return. Unfortunately, I had to go all the way through the store to the counter in the back in order to exchange it for the only unscented product they carried. Even Hallmark is off limits. I love to buy "first Christmas" ornaments for baby showers, but the last time I did so, I had to ask them to please hurry with the gift wrapping as I stood outside the door. I remember the time I was looking for some candles for one of my Christmas decorations - again, the counter was in the far back of the store. I had to ask someone if I could skip to the head of the line before my head exploded.
There was a time when everything seemed to be scented - Kleenex and toilet tissue to name a few necessities that made life very difficult for me. I'm glad someone talked them into stopping that nonsense. Shampoo and conditioner are two of the worst offenders. I have often times opened a magazine to read an article, only to immediately have to put it down and wish I'd never opened it - the perfume samples (usually more than one) not only permeated the pages of the magazine, but they ended up staying on my fingers the rest of the day. I think I wrote to one of them and learned that they have a special database for people who can't handle perfumed magazines. You'd think if that many people have the problem, they could leave the perfume out for everyone. But I know - it's all about the advertising income.
When I finally decided I needed a bit of makeup to "enhance my natural beauty" I ordered some very expensive stuff, only to discover that everything was scented. Fortunately, they did make it unscented, so they had to replace everything.
When my kids were in high school, when I drove them to school, they would get in the car in a rush, putting on the finishing touches with their spray colognes - I would remind them of my problem - they could never believe it could be "that bad." Kevin now knows exactly how bad "that bad" could be - unfortunately, he is plagued with the same problem.
And then there was my dear FIL, who loved to get his sweetie a spray bottle of some strong scent every Christmas. He'd be so proud that he wanted to share a squirt with everyone - no matter how many times I asked him to please not do so, as it would ruin the rest of my Christmas Eve!
What's really sad - I always thought it was only man-made scents that bothered me, until I realized when I brought them inside one year that I can't even have lilacs, Easter lilies, or daffodils in the house. So far roses and tulips are okay.
I had to leave the church nursery the other night and stand in the hall when I was sitting in there with the twins because they have put a Scentsy warmer in there - to mask the "aromas" inherent in a church nursery!
There is ONE plus in this sad tale - I have a built in excuse to not go to parties that sell scented things. I know - I should not be such a party pooper and be sad. But it saves me so much time and money! Or guilt.